Born June 19
By: Legacy Staff
26 days ago
Nick Drake had no idea what an impact his music would make. The English singer-songwriter crafted darkly beautiful folk songs but received little recognition for his work during his short life. It was only after his death at 26 that his music began to reach a wider audience. Many fellow musicians cite him as a profound influence, and songs including his classic "Pink Moon" caught the attention of the general public decades after their initial recordings were made. We remember Drake's life today as well as the lives of other notable people who were born this day in history.
1954: Lou Pearlman, U.S. manager of Backstreet Boys and NSYNC who went to jail for a ponzi scheme, is born in Flushing, New York.
1948: Nick Drake, English singer-songwriter whose music, including his song "Pink Moon," became known substantially better after his death at 26, is born in Rangoon, Myanmar.
In the 40 years since his death, Drake has had two singles on the U.K. singles chart. "Bryter Layter" was named the No. 1 alternative album of all time by The Guardian newspaper. He's been the subject of multiple documentaries on film and in radio, and honored in live concerts and in tribute albums. Previously discarded songs he recorded have been compiled and successfully released. A diverse group of performers – including Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Natalie Merchant, Robert Smith of the Cure, Ben Folds, and Lucinda Williams – cite Drake as an influence. Read more
1939: Al Wilson, U.S. soul singer known best for his 1974 No. 1 hit "Show and Tell," is born in Meridian, Mississippi.
1932: Pier Angeli, Italian-American actress who won a Golden Globe Award for her starring performance in "Teresa," is born in Cagliari, Italy.
1928: Nancy Marchand, U.S. actress known best for roles on "Lou Grant" and "The Sopranos," is born in Buffalo, New York.
1921: Louis Jourdan, French actor whose notable films included "The Paradine Case," "Gigi," and "Octopussy," is born in Marseille, France.
Jourdan's film career reached a peak in 1957 with the Alan Jay Lerner-Frederick Loewe musical "Gigi," which won nine Academy awards, including best picture. At first, Jourdan protested that he couldn't sing and wasn't right for the role as the Parisian seeking young Gigi (Leslie Caron) as a mistress. Lerner and Loewe persisted, and they gave him the title song, which required little vocalizing. Jourdan didn't consider "Gigi" his best achievement. He said in 1957: "It was a wonderful story for Leslie and Maurice Chevalier, but I played a colorless leading man. You'll note that none of the actors was nominated for Academy awards." Read more
1919: Pauline Kael, U.S. film critic who wrote influential reviews for The New Yorker from 1968 to 1991, is born in Petaluma, California.
1914: Lester Flatt, U.S. bluegrass guitarist and mandolinist who collaborated with Earl Scruggs in the Foggy Mountain Boys and played the theme song for "The Beverly Hillbillies," is born in Duncan's Chapel, Tennessee.
One of Flatt's Blue Grass bandmates was banjo player Earl Scruggs. In 1948, the two left the Blue Grass Boys and formed their own band, the Foggy Mountain Boys. (If the name sounds oddly familiar, it may be because of the 2000 movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" – the film's Soggy Bottom Boys were named in tribute to Flatt and Scruggs.) In addition to guitar, Flatt sang and sometimes played mandolin with the Foggy Mountain Boys. Read more
1903: Lou Gehrig, U.S. professional baseball player for the New York Yankees who was the first Major League Baseball player to have his uniform number retired, is born in New York, New York.
The season after Gehrig hit his record-breaking grand slam was when the illness that came to be known as Lou Gehrig's disease took baseball away from him. He played eight games in 1939. As the ninth game of the season began, he told his manager he'd stay on the bench, breaking his streak of 2,130 consecutive games. When the announcer told the stadium he'd be sitting the game out, the fans gave him a tearful standing ovation. Gehrig never played another major league game, and he officially retired later in the season. Read more
1902: Guy Lombardo, Canadian-American bandleader whose band, the Royal Canadians, were well-known for their popular New Year's Eve broadcasts, is born in London, Ontario.
1897: Moe Howard, U.S. actor and comedian who was one of the Three Stooges, is born in Brooklyn, New York.
1896: Wallis Simpson, U.S. socialite who married King Edward VIII of England after he famously abdicated his throne to be with the woman he loved, is born in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania.
In 1936, Time magazine dubbed Simpson its Woman of the Year. It was the first time a woman had received such an acknowledgment. For the nine years previously, the award had been known as Man of the Year, recognizing only men. Simpson was "the most-talked-about, written-about, headlined, and interest-compelling person in the world," according to the magazine. It also noted that Simpson was part of a tide of people and events that was shaking up the more staid United Kingdom and introducing it to a "more or less hectic and 'American' future." Read more
1623: Blaise Pascal, French mathematician who invented some of the world's first calculators, is born in Clermont-Ferrand, France.